Usage rules

Introduction

As with top performer circles, brokerage recognitions, and other ad hoc communities of top agents, membership in Top Agent Network is open to all agents who meet the objective sales criteria in their region. Once enrolled, member agents may then use the system to network with their peers as they always have, only with far greater efficiency and transparency. The network promotes and reinforces fairness and openness between and among agents, which helps agents better serve their clients. Consistent with the highest ethical standards, all members must agree to adhere to MLS and any applicable local association rules. Their failure to do so is grounds for immediate expulsion from Top Agent Network.

Objectives

The system has two main objectives: (1) provide independent and objective third-party verification of top agent status in a world where unfounded claims to top tier sales performance can be confusing or misleading to the consumer, and (2) add greater efficiency and transparency to the networking top agents have been doing for years in small meetings or “around the water cooler.”

Pre-MLS and Non-MLS Only — Do Not Re-Circulate Information Available on the MLS

The general rule is no junk email. The goal of TAN posts is to share with other members valuable information and find answers to questions on real estate matters not found in the MLS using categories such as: Upcoming Listings, Buyer Needs, Pricing Help and Service Provider Recommendations.

The focus is on local listings and local buyers. Nevertheless, the Network is also a great way to get out-of-area agent referrals. On occasion, local posts may be re-posted by Top Agent Network into another TAN chapter location for geographically relevant items.

Members are encouraged to post pre-MLS/Upcoming Listings and give advance notice of price reductions, allowing them to better serve their clients’ needs. In rare cases when sellers explicitly do not want their property listed in the MLS, a non-MLS listing may be posted on TAN, provided the posting agent has filed the proper MLS Exclusion Forms.

MEMBERS ARE PROHIBITED FROM RE-CIRCULATING INFORMATION THAT CAN ALREADY BE FOUND IN THE MLS.

Adherence to MLS and local rules is a condition of membership. Top Agent Network recognizes and supports the value of the local MLS. To remain a member of Top Agent Network, agents must adhere to their local MLS, REALTOR® Association and brokerage regulations and behave ethically with other agents. This includes the appropriate submission of all MLS exclusion forms and obtaining brokerage approval of posts, where necessary.

Prohibited Conduct

The following actions are grounds for the immediate suspension or revocation of your membership:

  • Providing your Top Agent Network login information to a non-member.
  • Posting on behalf of a non-member.
  • Forwarding Top Agent Network emails to non-member agents without the posting agent’s prior authorization.
  • Forwarding Top Agent Network emails for the solicitation of clients or for non-business purposes.
  • Re-posting, or otherwise re-displaying Top Agent Network posts to groups, on websites, advertisements, mailers, or anywhere else without the posting agent’s prior authorization.
  • Contacting an owner of any property posted on Top Agent Network without the posting agent’s permission.
  • Disparaging an individual agent, broker, manager or company, including in any email or marketing piece.
  • Discussing the setting of commission rates or other agent compensation.
  • Abusing or mis-using the system.
  • Receiving repeated violation notices or warnings related to your misuse of the Network or your conduct in relation to TAN members.
  • Behaving unethically or violating MLS, local brokerage or REALTOR® Association Rules or Codes of Conduct.
  • Violating Top Agent Network’s User Agreement.

Decisions regarding membership abuse, posting violations and other Rules violations will be made entirely at TAN’s sole discretion and are considered final.

Rules Regarding Bona Fide Real Estate Teams and “Authorized Sub-Users”

Real Estate Partnerships. Two (or more) agents who enter into a formal business partnership in which all real estate activities are conducted jointly and both (all) members are included in all marketing materials may share a single membership and may combine their sales volume to qualify for TAN membership. Both (all) partners (“Partners”) shall be referred to on the TAN roster. Questions concerning whether any joint business arrangement qualifies for a single TAN membership as a formal Real Estate Partnership shall be decided by TAN in its sole discretion.

Authorized Sub-Users. Existing TAN members may designate one or more persons to act as Authorized Sub-Users, as follows:

Assistants. Any member may designate his or her assistant to be an Authorized Sub-User with authority to make posts, log into the network, and otherwise use Top Agent Network in furtherance of the primary agent’s business. The primary member must certify an assistant’s status by sending an email to Top Agent Network stating the name of the assistant to be designated. The designating member agrees that he or she is responsible for the Assistant’s compliance with these Usage Rules and Top Agent Network’s User Agreement.

The assistant shall be issued an individual log-in/email that will grant the assistant immediate access to the network. All posts or other communications by an assistant who becomes an Authorized Sub-User shall indicate that they are being made on behalf of the named member agent. Assistants shall not be considered members of TAN and their names shall not appear in the TAN roster.

Secondary Brokers. Any member who is working with one or more non-member brokers on certain transactions, including buyer’s brokers or brokers collaborating with the member agent on certain matters, may designate such agents as Authorized Sub-Users with authority to log into the network, make posts, on behalf of the member agent. To qualify, the non-member agent must have worked with the member agent for a minimum of 6 months, as evidenced by joint marketing materials, listing brochures, or other evidence satisfactory to TAN in its sole discretion.

To designate a secondary broker as an Authorized Sub-User, the requesting member must send an email to Top Agent Network stating the name of the agent to be designated and the aforementioned marketing materials establishing the nature and extent of the joint arrangement. The designating member agrees that he or she is responsible for the secondary broker’s compliance with these Usage Rules and Top Agent Network’s User Agreement. Upon qualification, the non-member agent shall be given a separate email address/log-in, but such member shall not be considered a member of TAN and shall not appear in the TAN roster. All posts and other communications from the agent that qualifies as an Authorized Sub-User must be related to the matters on which the partnership/ collaboration is based and indicate that it is being made by such agent on behalf of the member agent.

Member Agent Responsible for Sub-Users and Partners. All actions taken by a qualified Partner or an Authorized Sub-User on or related to the TAN Network shall be considered as actions authorized and undertaken by the applicable member agent or partner, and any violations, warnings, or acts constituting improper use of the network by a partner or an Authorized Sub-User shall be imputed to the member agent or partner as if committed by such member agent/partner directly.

Termination. TAN may discontinue all members’ ability to designate Authorized Sub-Users and/or partnerships altogether, or alter the terms under which they may be permitted, at any time and for any reason. Also, TAN reserves the right to terminate, suspend or revoke at any time the ability of any previously designated Authorized Sub-User to access, or otherwise use the network in TAN’s sole discretion. Any member who falsely represents another agent as an Authorized Sub-User or Partner for any reason, including to allow the non-member to have access to the TAN network, or knowingly permits an Authorized Sub-User or Partner to utilize the network for purposes unrelated to the primary agent’s business, shall be subject to immediate termination from Top Agent Network.

General Guidelines for Using TAN:

DO:

  • Focus on local real estate.
  • Post only information or questions that can’t be readily found in the MLS.
  • Adhere to any and all posting guidelines as displayed on the specific post input page for each category.
  • Restrict posts to real property and business matters.
  • Be short, descriptive and clear in your posts. Include subject lines.
  • Reply to a post or a response crispy and clearly.
  • Proofread your post carefully before posting (the system gives you time to do this) to avoid having to make corrections later. If you need to correct or update a previously published post, edit it rather than re-post the item.
  • Search TopAgentNetwork.com before posting a buyer need or requesting a service provider referral.
  • Make sure your buyer needs are for motivated and qualified buyers.
  • Post all items related to a client’s personal needs in the “Miscellaneous” category. Unsubscribe from that category if you choose not to receive these posts.
  • ABIDE BY ALL RULES AND PROCEDURES OF ANY BROKERAGE, REALTOR ASSOCIATION AND/OR MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE TO WHICH YOU BELONG. (Top Agent Network is not responsible for policing your actions relative to these rules and procedures. However, your failure to adhere to these rules are grounds for the suspension/revocation of your membership in Top Agent Network.)

DON’T:

  • Post information about a listing or buyer not represented by you.
  • Make a post regarding a listing or buyer without the seller’s or buyer’s approval.
  • Post any information (either a new listing or an update) that appears on the MLS. TAN’s purpose is to share Pre-MLS and Non-MLS information.
  • Post the same information more than once.
  • Use TAN to inquire about personal needs when other networking vehicles or a simple Google search would suffice.
  • Use TAN to discuss the setting of commission rates.
  • Use TAN information for non-professional purposes.
  • Announce a buyer need that is not unique or someone looking for a ridiculously low price.
  • Make derogatory remarks, writings or other communications about another agent or brokerage.
  • Make political, non-real estate-related or personal promotions or comments.